Banish Those Negative Thoughts And Enhance Your Public Speaking Skills

Dr. Purushothaman
September 20, 2013

The act of taking ownership has been propounded in almost every conceivable area of life. It applies also to the art of public speaking. How does a sense of ownership help you get over your stage fright? How can this help you become a more effective speaker? Taking ownership is a powerful weapon in your arsenal, allowing you to increase your effectiveness, while banishing your negative thoughts and enhancing your public speaking skills. There are few better ways to help you become a better public speaker, whether you will be speaking only once, or decide to make a career of it.

The Principle of Ownership – How do you take ownership of public speaking?

Can such an ephemeral act actually produce results? While the concept of ownership is well understood as it applies to physical things, it can be a bit difficult to understand as it relates to an act. How does ownership affect public speaking?

Understanding the concept of ownership in this context is vitally important. In a sense, this is "positive thinking," with an edge. Positive thinking is passive – almost wishful thinking, in a sense. Taking ownership of the situation is dynamic, it puts you in control. While it incorporates quite a few of the principles of positive thinking, taking ownership puts you in the driver's seat and helps you to banish your negative thoughts.

So, how does this apply to public speaking? Can you really "own" the experience of speaking before an audience? Yes, you can own that experience, you can make it your own. Doing so will also improve your public speaking skills. You can take control of that situation and take ownership, which will ramp up your effectiveness to a considerable degree.

Taking ownership of the situation begins with your material. Obviously, you'll need a topic on which to speak. As you were chosen as the speaker, it was probably for a reason. Your expertise and knowledge of said topic are the best available. Use this to your advantage; use it to help you take ownership of it. Think of it as "your" engagement, "your" speech and "your" topic. This brings the spectacle of public speaking down to a much more personal level and improves your public speaking skills in and of itself.

When you own your topic, you control the flow, the salient points you will make. Use this to your advantage, make each point vital and filled with importance. You can also use this to make your speaking style and body language different. For instance, when you own something, you are rarely timid about asserting yourself where that subject is concerned.

The same principle applies with public speaking. If you own the experience, you are vested in it. This brings a much more personal tone to the entire engagement. When you are vested in something, you are committed to its success, whether you experience fear and doubt or not. Taking ownership of your topic will make your speech more dynamic, more interesting and more engaging to your audience.

In addition, ownership can be applied to the feelings of fear you feel at the prospect of speaking before a crowd. Regardless of the size of the group you are addressing, the principle of ownership will help override the feelings of self-doubt assailing you. If you are sufficiently vested in the engagement, there is little room for that fear to trickle through. Of course, you'll still experience some fear and doubt – it's only natural. However, you will not be overcome with anxiety over the coming engagement. Rather, you will feel empowered, proud and ready to tackle the subject, to let the world see what you can do and let your audience hear what you have to say.


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